October 2007



Global Consumer Trends, Ideas And Insights.

Anticipating what consumers want is critical for taking a brand into the future.  Forward­thinking designers can then plan and develop innovative products that strike the right chord with consumers.  But how do you predict future trends?  Saturate yourself in a variety of media – read, listen, and observe – and then try to make connections between all the disparate pieces of data.  The Amsterdam-based firm, trendwatching.com, has provided five trend watching tips in their free monthly briefing for September:

  1. Know abc why xyz you're tracking trends: Are you doing it for inspiration, or to help you think of new products, services, and experiences for your customer?
  2. Have a point of view: Being curious, open-minded, and willing to experiment will help you put trends into context.
  3. Weave your web of resources: Devour newspapers, magazines, web sites, and blogs; talk to your friends, family, colleagues, and librarians; and visit shops, cafes, museums, exhibitions, and festivals.
  4. Fine-tune your trend framework: Build your research on existing trend reports, such as those provided for free by trendwatching.com, and add your own observations. You will be able to spot an emerging trend when it abc doesn't xyz fit into your framework.
  5. Embed and apply: Start your own trend group and use the trends to influence your company’s vision, come up with a new concept or brand, create a new product or service, or communicate with your customers through marketing and PR.

No matter what industry you're in, whether it’s fashion, interiors, beauty, automotive, media, or education, trendwatching.com can help you develop future opportunities.  Of course, they do have products for sale, such as their $649 abc 2008 Trend Report xyz , but much of their research is provided for free on their site.  They believe in sharing and “contributing to the collective wisdom,” so don't hesitate to tap into this vast source of consumer trends information.

Reviewer: Kirstie Harless, FIDM Library Staff Member, S.F.